Angola’s crude output plunged to a 17-year low of 1.073 million b/d in June, the country’s energy regulator, Agência Nacional de Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis, or ANPG, said July 15.
The OPEC member has been unable to control a sharp decline in its oil production over the past five years because of technical and operational problems at some fields, aggravated by a lack of upstream investment and incentives.
Angola pumped 32,191,940 barrels (1,073,065 b/d) last month, from 34,887,890 barrels (1,125,416 b/d) in May, the data showed.
Recent production levels remain far below the country’s commitments under the recent OPEC production cuts.
For June, Angola had committed to keep production at 1.298 million b/d under the recent OPEC+ deal.
Angolan crude output has averaged as low as 1.14 million b/d so far this year, according to S&P Global Platts estimates. That represents a fall of almost 40% across the past five years, underlining how dramatic the descent has been.
However, drilling and exploration work in the country has started to rise in 2021 from 2020 levels, with the likes of Eni, BP, TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil all resuming upstream work in the West African country.
ANPG said eight units were engaged in drilling activity in June compared with nine in May.
There could be a minor rebound in production by the end of 2021 and into early 2022 due to the recent startup of TotalEnergies’ Zinia Phase 2 oil project in Block 17 along with some other recent discoveries.
S&P Global Platts Analytics expects Angola to pump 1.1 million-1.2 million b/d this year.
“Production stays below 2019-2020 levels due to production declines and a lack of new project start-ups,” it said in a recent note.
The country, which typically produces heavy but sweet crude, has traditionally been among the top suppliers to China. But key fields like Cabinda, Dalia, Girassol, Hungo, Kissanje, Pazflor and Plutonio have all matured at the same time.